Conflict Resolution Training:

Give Up Being Right and Making Others Wrong


In a conflict, people typically argue for their positions because everyone thinks he/she is “right.” And, of course, if one person in a conflict believes he/she is right, the other person must, by necessity, be “wrong.” This doesn’t necessarily mean that you say, “You’re wrong.” But that, in effect, is why a conflict remains unresolved: One person is convinced he/she is right; the other person must be wrong.

Movement towards resolution will not take place until someone is willing to “give up being right and make others wrong.”   Notice, I didn’t write, “give up your need.” I wrote, “give up being right and making others wrong.” When you’re willing to do so, you’ll often find that the other person is willing to do so as well.

You can signal your willingness to do so by listening to the other person’s position BEFORE giving your opinion. Often, people remain in conflict because they don't feel they've been heard and understood.

Do this the next time you're in a conflict: Paraphrase, to the satisfaction of the other person(s) what he/she has said BEFORE giving your opinion.  Keep asking, "Is there anything else you want to say?" and keep paraphrasing until THEY’RE sure you really have understood THEM. Work to understand others before trying to have them understand you. 

As you continue paraphrasing, you’ll notice that the other person seems less and less argumentative. Paraphrasing ensures that you will resolve conflicts faster than before and to the greater satisfaction of those involved.

Try it for yourself and see!